It was time to leave the dock. All of our preparations were as complete as they were going to be. The engine enclosure, watermaker and windvane were ready. Gypsy was loaded with provisions, we filled the water tank and cast off. Our goal was to sail up to the west Coast of Vancouver Island and see Barkley and Clayoquot Sound. The first step was to sail down the Columbia River.
We like seeing all of the commercial shipping activity on the river. When there are freighters near us, we stay out of the main channel, so we stay out of the path of the freighters.
We anchored in a small cove behind Bazett Island. There was not much swing room for Gypsy. We decided to run a couple of lines to shore to keep Gypsy away from the rocks. While we were getting the dinghy ready we heard something crashing through the brush on shore. A black bear walked out on the beach. We waited until we were sure it had moved on to row ashore and tie our lines to a couple of trees.
During the afternoon we saw two different bears. The next morning the smaller bear was back. it spent about 45 minutes looking for its breakfast on the beach. It would roll over the rocks on the beach and eat the little crabs that live under the rocks.
First off, we have a new site: gypsykramer.com. Same great, scintillating content, now with no more pesky ads. The old wordpress address will still work, should you choose.
We’ve been working on getting things shipshape, so to speak. The watermaker is installed and successfully makes water! We did a test run in the Columbia and it came out clear and clean. No small task, given how much silt runs down the river. Here’s what it looks like with everything in place. We have easy access to the sink for test or sample water and runoff. Everything is accessible and we still have storage room in the quarterberth.
Summer is here and what’s a better way to enjoy your time than to find a shady spot and read a fun book. So I am going to take a break from boat projects to suggest a book. It is Murder at the Marina, by author and sailor Ellen Jacobson. It is her first novel and it is a good one.
We met Ellen through her sister Susan, who also works at the library. Back when we had Gypsy in Tom Becker’s shop, Nina was talking to Susan about our boat project and Susan responded that we were almost as crazy as her sister, who used to live aboard a sailboat in New Zealand. Well, that did not sound crazy at all to us and we started following Ellen’s blog. We got to meet her when she was visiting in Portland. She now lives aboard in Florida.
Ellen’s book Murder at the Marina is set at Palm Tree Marina in Florida. The book starts with Mollie and her husband Scooter having a romantic dinner to celebrate their tenth anniversary. During dinner Scooter announces to Mollie that he is buying her a sailboat. Mollie was expecting serious jewelry and is not thrilled. When Scooter takes her to see the boat the next day she is faced with mildew and peeling paint. She also meets Captain Dan, the fast talking boat broker who is selling them the boat. Dan tells them that they are invited to a BBQ at the marina that evening, so Mollie heads off in search of brownies and a bottle of wine.
The following morning, Mollie and Scooter go to the boat to start cleaning her up, but when they get there they find a dead body in the vee berth. Mollie does not want the boat. The dead body is even less welcome. The problem is she is making friends and enjoying life at the marina, so Mollie decides to find out what is going on at the Palm Tree marina.
Mollie is a cross between Nancy Drew and Miss Marple, and about halfway between their ages too. This cozy mystery will give you a feel for marina life in Florida. You will also learn a bit about boats. A fun summer read.
We last left you in heavy project mode. We wanted to get Gypsy into usable shape so we could do more than work on her, like actually get her out sailing. Our first goal was to get the cabin looking finished. We had unvarnished trim and lemon yellow paint still showing. The varnishing needed to get done first, so May was varnish month. We varnished and we worked on enclosing the engine space in the cockpit lockers. We got the varnishing done in time to clean the cabin and get Gypsy ready for the Memorial Day cruise. We had a fun weekend not working on the boat. The engine enclosure is still in process. Since the engine was not enclosed we get to invent the whole system. This means you do one bit and then you design the next bit… It may be done before we sail to Mexico.
The painting came next. We piled all the cushions up in the main cabin and painted the vee berth and quarter berth.
Bill made new plexiglass sliders for the head and galley cabinets. He almost fainted when he got the bill for the plexi. They do look good!
The other project we finally got to was to have Rogers Marine come and troubleshoot our instruments. We were having problems with our radar and GPS. The problem turned out to be a defective Lowrance GPS. If we had been able to deal with this sooner we may have been able to get warranty coverage. Lesson learned is deal with problems sooner rather than later.
So that is what we have been doing. We are working to get Gypsy ready for her summer cruise to Vancouver Island. We have a month to get her ready.
We went to the Seattle Boat show at the end of January and we made a decision on a watermaker. We decided to get it this year so we could try it out, in salt water, on our summer trip to Vancouver Island. We ordered it and it arrived. It was in a huge box.
The watermaker was a fun diversion to the real project of putting the galley and head trim in. Being slightly crazy we decided to epoxy the wood to wood joints and use 3M 4000 on the wood to formica joints. This meant we had two different glues and clean ups going at once.
We have also been completing the cabin sole. We got the flooring installed in the head, passageway and vee berth. The trick is getting everything to line up once it is covered in glue and to keep it in place.
The weather has gone both sides of freezing. We have had rain, snow and a glimpse of sun. While this has happened we have been working on the galley, cabin sole and the cockpit locker floor. The wood trim and fiddles for the galley are ready to varnish. We just need to find some space at home to spread the wood out in order to get it all done.
We painted the space behind the galley and in the head to get ready for the installation of the wood.
All of the floor pieces are still loose. We are waiting until the water warms up so the glue will cure.
The other project we are working on is making floors for the cockpit locker. If you remember the lockers were originally lined in yellow shag carpet. While this did pose an aesthetic challenge, the carpet did help keep you from sliding round. Our nice, carpet- free lockers are now very slippery. The floors will give us a flat surface to store things on. They are also the base for enclosing the engine and its noise. The floors require repeated crawling into the lockers with tape measures and scraps of cardboard. The cardboard pattern gets transferred to plywood and the plywood then gets fitted. The result is a floor.
It has been two months since our last post. We have been busy working on our kitchen. We are still land based and live in a house and that house has been patient, but it did demand some attention right after Thanksgiving. The attention grabber was when the microwave died. I think it was feeling left out and it wanted some TLC. The kitchen got a makeover and it is happier.
We started 2018 off right, we went out on Gypsy. It was a calm day so we motored. No rain and not too cold.
The kitchen under control we are back working on Gypsy.
One of our first tasks was to get the stereo reinstalled. It is in the box above the inverter. We had been using speakers that used to be in Bill’s painting studio. They were head coshers, so we got some cute little speakers. The bigger speakers may get worked into the bookshelf when it gets built.
The two projects we are working on are fitting the floor boards in the head, passageway and vee berth, and the face frames and fiddles for the cupboards in the head and galley. Both are fiddly, as each piece has to be trimmed to fit .
We did take a break to go to the Seattle Boat Show. It gave us a chance to see friends and to do research on boat stuff. We did get to spend some time sightseeing with our friends.